Buying Your Way Into Heaven
Interesting parallel from today's energy policy to 16th century Catholicism from Economist Dennis Gartman:
"CATECHISM CLASS: Raised as good Lutherans back in Ohio, we always understood how the selling of Indulgences helped bring the Catholic Church low in the 16th Century. Indulgences were the pieces of paper sold by the Pope that allowed 'sinners' to pay down their debts they had incurred through sinning. One could sin, buy an Indulgence from the Church, and go about one's life with a sense of having done something worthwhile for the building of more churches AND in curtailing one's time in purgatory or actually buying one's way into heaven. Indeed, we learned that one of the Popes of the age, Leo X, actually sold such large Indulgences, costing such large sums of money, that he was able to finance the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica. Having been to St. Peter's, in retrospect, perhaps this was not such a bad idea given the stunning beauty of the church.
"But the whole notion of Indulgences is being revisited these days by the new religion of global warming, for if we consider what Mr. Gore has recently done by buying carbon offsets from those who plant trees to offset his enormous carbon footprint, or knowing what Sen. Edwards has done by buying offsets to the electricity and energy needed to power his enormous home in Chapel Hill, N. Carolina, we are hard pressed to see where this practice differs from the 16th century selling of Indulgences.
"Parishioners in the 16th century bought their way out of Purgatory and/or Hell; 21st century tree-hugging energy users can buy their conscience clear by buying offsets. We look for arguments from our global warming friends out there."